Following protests by Hindu groups who say they've used the swastika as a religious symbol for millennia, Germany announced Monday that it has dropped plans to outlaw the sign throughout the European Union.
Germany, which currently holds the EU's rotating presidency, still wants to make Holocaust denial illegal throughout the EU to stem racism and xenophobia.
"Public incitement of violence and hatred or the denial or trivialization of genocide with racist or xenophobic motives" should be criminalized EU-wide, German officials said in Brussels on Monday. "But the plan does not include a ban on certain symbols such as swastikas."
The German EU presidency hopes that EU members will come to an agreement on the plan during the meeting in Luxembourg on April 19 and 20.
A similar attempt to make Holocaust denial illegal by Luxembourg in 2005 was blocked by Britain, Denmark and notably Italy, where Silvio Berlusconi's center-right coalition was still in power. The new Italian government under Romano Prodi introduced a national bill over the weekend that would impose jail time for inciting racial hatred.
In Europe, only Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Poland, Romania and Spain have laws that specifically target revisionism.
Russian and Ukrainian representatives have met for the first face-to-face talks since the onset of the Crimean crisis. Meanwhile, pro-Russian militia have fired warning shots to block observers from entering the region.
March 8 marks the 300th anniversary of the birth of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, son of the renowned Johann Sebastian Bach. C.P.E. Bach became one of the most important and famous composers of the 18th century.
The acting foreign minister of Ukraine has said that Kyiv has begun working to create a contact group. Russia has also said it's also ready for dialogue, but not if it continues to be portrayed as the bad guy.
The 28th edition of the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival is now underway, drawing tech, music and film innovators and fans from around the world to Texas. Edward Snowden and Neil Young are set to be event highlights.